Benefits – some of the Many Benefits of Joining the AFM/CFM

Below is a list of just some of the benefits and perquisites (“perks”) available to members of the AFM and Local 293 (Hamilton Musicians’ Guild):

1. Local and Federation sponsored booking/referral services
2. P2s – Working in the US
3. Claims on default
4. Pension Fund
5. Negotiated Agreements
6. Legal Contracts
7. Legislative Representation
8. International Musician Free Subscription
9. Local Newsletter Free subscription
10. Insurance
11. Musical Equipment Discounts
12. Cell Phone Service Discount
13. Union Savings
14. A Collective Voice

Local and Federation sponsored booking/referral services:
Local 293 assists potential live music purchasers in Hamilton, Haldimand and Halton and surrounding areas to find the right artist or group for their party, wedding, festival, corporate function or any other event that requires live music. In addition, the AFM provides an international on-line referral service (free of charge to all members and potential purchasers) that is quickly becoming one of the largest Internet resources of its kind.)

We can and do recommend Local 293 members for all types of gigs – from private parties to local festivals, and even national awards (think CCMA). We cannot require that event organizers hire our recommendations – that is up to the event organizer – but we do strongly support our members. In cases where an event is receiving MPTF sponsorship, we can and do require that ONLY union members are hired and paid at least at union scale wages.

P2s – Working in the US:
The AFM is an international union representing professional musicians in both the United States and Canada. On behalf of its members who accept gigs across the border, the Federation works with the governments of both countries to cut through the hassle of “red tape” usually associated with obtaining work visas in either location. This assistance is available for both US and Canadian musicians. There are specialized Canadian and US forms, both formats conform to the laws of the individual countries, are easy to complete, and provide comprehensive legal protection for either single engagement or touring dates. The AFM/CFM acts as the “lawyer” or “authorized petitioner” to act on behalf of Local 293 members dealing with the US Department of Homeland Security/Citizenship and Immigration services. This saves members thousands of dollars in lawyer fees.

Claims on Default:
In the event a purchaser defaults on payment to members for a contracted engagement, Local 293 and/or the AFM will work to resolve the dispute between the parties administratively. Should this prove unsuccessful, Local 293 and/or the Federation will pursue the claim through a variety of legal methods.

Musician Pension Fund of Canada:
Members working under an AFM contract have the option of making contributions to the Pension Fund. Please visit the Fund’s website or contact their office (200 Yorkland Blvd., suite 605
Toronto, Ontario M2J 5C1,, 416-497-4702, Toll free : 1-888-462-6666,

Negotiated Agreements:
International, national and local agreements covering all types of musical work ensure fair and timely payments as well as benefits and royalties (where applicable) for the reuse and new use of music recorded under these agreements.

Legal Contracts:
A signed AFM contract offers you protection for individual engagements, steady engagements, and traveling work. The AFM has a standard form contract that all members are entitled to use. It contains the AFM seal and when properly filled out and filed with the Local, it allows the local officer to help collect payments in the case of a default. Forms are available for download from the AFM’s and this website, or at the Local 293 office.

Legislative Representation:
The AFM is actively involved at the national, provincial, state and local levels, advocating and lobbying for legislation that benefits the lives of working musicians including public funding for the arts.

International Musician Free Subscription:
The International Musician is the official journal of the AFM. Published monthly and sent to all members, this informative newspaper delivers articles of current interest to professional musicians, such as educational resources, labor news, as well as audition notices and help wanted ads. The International Musician is also available online, beginning the first of each month, in the private members area of the AFM website. Members may also search online through past issues in the International Musician archives.

Local Newsletter Free Subscription:
The Local 293 newsletter, The Libretto, provides news and information about the local music scene, as well as updates to membership status and changes, opportunities, and other matters that concern and/or benefit our members.

Equipment Insurance:
As a professional musician, you depend upon your instruments and equipment. Just think of the exorbitant costs of replacing equipment if it is lost or damaged. Most homeowner’s and renter’s insurance is not enough to protect from loss, theft or damage on location. Thus, the AFM provides access to the All-Risk Musician Instrument and Equipment Insurance Plan. Your instruments and music-related equipment are protected from vandalism, breakage, water, fire, lightening and theft up to the full replacement value.

Liability Insurance

AFM members are protected if they are injured during a performance by signing up for the Musician’s Liability Insurance. This policy provides up to $1 million for each occurrence and up to $2 million of aggregate coverage for lawsuits arising out of bodily injury and/or damage to property for others, occurring on or off premises during your performance.

The AFM also offers a number of other low-cost insurance options including:
– Accidental death and dismemberment
– Cancer care protection
– Catastrophic major medical
– Disability income plan
– Group term life
– Hospital indemnity plan
– Major medical insurance plans
– Short term medical insurance

Musical Equipment Discounts:
The AFM has a negotiated discount for its members with a national retailer of professional musical instruments and equipment.

Union Savings is a non-profit and it is the ONLY consumer benefits organization created and endorsed by the AFL-CIO. At Union Savings, their mission is to improve the quality of life for union members and their families, provide valuable benefits and services that strengthen the ties of union members to their unions and contribute funding to the labor movement.

Union Savings offers discounts on everything from Automotive services to Home Insurance to Travel Services – they diligently research every benefit and tailor them to support you and other union members.

How Union Savings Works
Did you know that there are more than 12 million union members in the United States and Canada? Because of our strength in numbers, Unions Savings is able to negotiate exclusive discounts and financial assistance programs just for union members and their families.

They pass along the exclusive benefits negotiated on our behalf of union members directly to members like you. These benefits and programs are FREE to union members and their families. There’s no additional membership fees — if you are a current or retired union member or a family member — you’re in.

Cell Phone Service Discount:
The AFM has a negotiated discount for its members on Bell, Telus and other cell phone service providers.

For example, with Bell, Union Savings members and their families can get:

  • Savings of up to 30% on plans with unlimited data
  • New Activations have a Waived Connection Charge of $50. Existing Bell Subscribers have a $50 – Migration Fee when joining EPP*
  • 5G speeds in 5G areas**
  • Discounts on Bell’s most popular phones
  • Exclusive offers and everyday savings with Bell Advantages @ The Source.

If You’re Union — You’re Eligible

As current and retired union members, you are automatically eligible for Local 293‘s Union Savings Benefits — often times, your parents, spouse and children are also eligible. No Union Savings membership fees, No Waiting Period, No Hassle.

A Collective Voice:
It is only through the combined efforts of members that Local 293 and the AFM are able to better the position of musicians in our society. As a collective unit, we not only have a strong voice in collective bargaining and government lobbying, but anywhere that musicians work. As a member, you will have a voice in deciding our collective future.